Georgia vs. TCU live updates: Georgia finishes off TCU in title game with 65-7 victory

The Georgia Bulldogs made some college football history, becoming the first FBS team in 10 years to repeat as champions with a 65-7 win over the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff national championship game at SoFi Stadium in rainy Inglewood, California, on Monday night.

The Bulldogs also are just the ninth program in major college football to win back-to-back national championships.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett set the tone for the rout, scoring on a 21-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with six total touchdowns and earned game offensive MVP honors.

USA TODAY Sports had live updates, the latest news, analysis and scenes as Georgia and TCU clashed.

Georgia completes repeat with dominant defeat of TCU

It was a day for the Bulldogs. From start to finish, Georgia proved too good for the Horned Frogs. Stetson Bennett powered the offense with four touchdown passes and added two rushing scores, while the defense completely shut down a prolific TCU attack to pull away in the second quarter and post the biggest victory in the 25 years of the championship game era of college football. The 65-7 victory made the Bulldogs just the ninth program to win consecutive national champions and the first since Alabama did it in 2011-2012.

Georgia has most points scored in college football championship

Georgia's 65-7 win over TCU was the largest point total and score differential in major college football championship game history, dating back to the Bowl Coalition in 1992.

The 58-point victory bested Nebraska's 62-24 win over Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl for largest point differential. Nebraska's 62 points were also the most scored in a championship game until Monday night.

Branson Robinson scores second touchdown to put Georgia over 60

Freshman running back Branson Robinson scored in back-to-back drives for the Bulldogs, giving them 60 points for the first time this season. On this touchdown, he thundered forward for a 19-yard rush one play after TCU turned the ball over on downs. Jack Podlesny missed the extra point. Georgia 65, TCU 7

Georgia's second-team offense adds another score

After Stetson Bennett's night was done, the Bulldogs offense kept the touchdowns coming. Freshman running back Branson Robinson punched in a 1-yard touchdown to cap off a nine-play, 54-yard drive with under 10 minutes left. Georgia 59, TCU 7

That's the night and career for Stetson Bennett

With 13:25 left in the fourth quarter and his team leading 52-7, Kirby Smart pulled his senior quarterback from the game for a curtain call. Bennett's career will end with him winning a second consecutive national championship after one of the best games of his unlikely superstar careers. He finished 18-of-25 for 304 yards and four touchdowns passing  and added 39 yards rushing and two scores.

Stetson Bennett ties record with sixth touchdown

The Georgia quarterback reconnected with Ladd McConkey another score. This time, it was on a 14-yard strike into the left corner of the end zone. It was the fourth touchdown pass of the game for Bennett to go with his two rushing scores, which ties Joe Burrow's record for most combined touchdowns in a national championship game. Georgia 52, TCU 7.

Brock Bowers scores as Georgia's lead grows

Stetson Bennett found his right-hand-man Bowers on a 22-yard touchdown to open scoring in the second half. The tight end leaped up against TCU's Abe Camara and secured the catch as he fell into the end zone. Bowers also grabbed a 28-yard catch to start the drive. Bennett now has three touchdowns passing and two rushing scores. Georgia 45, TCU 7.

Stetson Bennett's ridiculous first half numbers 

Playing in his final college game, the Georgia quarterback couldn't have asked for a much better first half. Bennett ran for two scores and added two touchdown passes as the Bulldogs lead TCU 38-7 and appear poised to repeat as national champions. The senior was 13-of-17 for 213 yards passing and had three carries for 39 yards in the first 30 minutes.

Things keep getting worse for TCU

Hoping to get some points before halftime, the Horned Frogs threw on third-and-18 and Max Duggan was intercepted by Javon Bullard for the second time this game. Georgia converted needed just two plays to score another touchdown with Stetson Bennett finding Adonai Mitchell for a 22-yard score. It's the second touchdown pass for Bennett to go with two touchdown runs. TCU kneels on its final possession, and halftime comes with the Bulldogs ahead 38-7.

Georgia keeps adding to its lead on TCU

The Bulldogs have now scored on all five drives of the first half as Kendall Milton add a 1-yard touchdown run to their tally. It's now 31-7 in favor of Georgia, and the Horned Frogs are in serious trouble late in the first half.

Stetson Bennett adds third touchdown of the game

Stetson Bennett scored for the second time on a run and Georgia added another score to its lead. Bennett, who also has thrown for a score, finished off a 92-yeard drive with a 6-yard run and it's 24-7 in favor of the defending champions. The Bulldogs have scored on each of their first four drives.

Stetson Bennett throws 37-yard touchdown

Georgia reasserted their lead in the first quarter when Stetson Bennett threw the ball downfield to Ladd McConkey for a 37-yard score. Georgia 17, TCU 7

Max Duggan gets TCU on the board with 2-yard touchdown

On third-and-one from the Bulldogs' two-yard line, TCU quarterback Max Duggan took the snap from shotgun, kept the ball and rushed forward virtually untouched for the two-yard score. Georgia 10, TCU 7

Georgia adds a field goal

Jack Podlesny nails a 24-yard field goal. The score caps off a six-play, 27-yard drive that started in TCU territory after a fumble. It was an important stop for the Horned Frogs, who could not afford to go down two touchdowns so early in the first quarter. Georgia 10, TCU 0

TCU RB Kendre Miller out

The all-conference running back, who left the Fiesta Bowl with what turned out to be a sprained MCL, warmed up with the team while wearing a brace on his right knee. Miller ranks second in the Big 12 with 6.3 yards per carry and second with 17 touchdowns.

Emari Demarcado started in place of Miller against Georgia. Demarcado, who answered the call against Michigan with a career-high 150 yards and a touchdown on 8.8 yards per carry.

But the offense will also need a contribution from Duggan, who ranks third on the team with 461 yards and has taken on a larger role in recent weeks.

In the past two games, Duggan has accounted for 167 yards and three rushing scores on 5.6 yards per attempt. Even if Georgia dedicates resources to limiting Duggan's ability to escape the pocket, he'll be a huge factor as a runner inside the red zone and in short-yardage situations.

Georgia's offense has one injury to watch. Tight end Darnell Washington, a powerful blocker and key receiving target, is "resting up and hopefully he’ll be good to go," coach Kirby Smart said, after he left the Peach Bowl with an ankle injury.

Read Paul Myerberg's keys to the game here.

Deion Sanders, Luka Doncic, LaDainian Tomlinson among celebs on sidelines

Deion Sanders, the new coach at Colorado, was among the celebrities on hand for the game. Neon shined brightest, but there were others.

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd and  NBA All-Star Luka Doncic were photographed on the sideline before kickoff.

Georgia fans were enthused to see Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who played for the Bulldogs from 2006 to 2008. TCU fans were excited to see LaDainian Tomlinson, who played for the Horned Frogs from 1997 to 2000. He also was there to watch his nephew, Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, a standout senior cornerback who won the Jim Thorpe Award this season. New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton, who played for TCU from 2006 to 2010, also was in attendance.

— Josh Peter, USA TODAY Sports

Georgia strikes first on Stetson Bennett touchdown

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett scored the first points of the game. On the Bulldogs' first possession, he faked a handoff to running back Daijun Edwards then ran to his left all the way down the field for a 21-yard touchdown. Georgia 7, TCU 0

Has TCU ever won a national championship?

While TCU is new to the College Football Playoff this season, the Horned Frogs boast a storied college football program that features three Pro Football Hall of Famers — LaDainian Tomlinson, Bob Lilly and Sammy Baugh — as well as one national championship.

TCU won its lone college football national championship in 1938 under coach Dutch Meyer and Heisman Trophy winner Davey O'Brien. The Horned Frogs finished 11-0 that season, playing in the Southwest Conference, and capped the campaign with a 15-7 win over Carnegie Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

Center Ki Aldrich went on to be the No. 1 overall selection in the 1939 NFL draft by the Chicago Cardinals. TCU had three first-round picks in 1939, as O'Brien went fourth overall to the Philadelphia Eagles and tackle I.B. Hale was the No. 8 pick to Washington.

Raining 'Frogs and Dogs'

It was raining Frogs and Dogs on Monday, one wise guy noted as Texas Christian Horned Frogs fans and Georgia Bulldogs fans scurried inside SoFi Stadium to escape the rain and cold before the College Football Playoff national championship game.

But hundreds of fans braved the elements during an outdoor concert about 2½ hours before kickoff, as temperatures dipped into the 50s.

‘’I’m sure when they got this in L.A. the first thing they said is we’ll have good weather,’’ said John Holmes, who was wearing a Bulldogs jersey and said he had flown in from his home in Atlanta. “So it’s hilarious we have rain in Los Angeles on the day of the national championship.’’

Not everybody appeared to be laughing as they attempted to dodge raindrops and puddles. Which begged the question: Would inclement weather favor the Frogs or Dogs?

“I think frogs like water,’’ Tammy Walden of San Antonio said as she and a group of about 15 TCU fans hustled toward the stadium.

Inside the covered stadium, TCU players were warming up in the dry but breezy, chilly conditions. Those watching the teams warm up could see their own breath.

A general view of the SoFi Stadium and logos on the field before the CFP national championship game between TCU and Georgia on Monday.
A general view of the SoFi Stadium and logos on the field before the CFP national championship game between TCU and Georgia on Monday.

Outside continued the game before the game: Get to the stadium as dry as possible.

Jay Southworth of Austin said he and his entourage broke out the rain ponchos they’d had for two years and had yet to use.

Mike Michalowicz and John Briggs sported purple wigs and soaked up rain drops and attention from other TCU fans.

“Ironically, it absorbs more rain,’’ Michalowicz said of the wigs. “And as it rains harder, our heads are getting bigger, bringing about this awkward confidence that we’re going to win.’’

Although the rain had let up when Maurice Kinsey arrived at SoFi, he still was dripping – with Georgia regalia. How did he feel about the weather?

“It’s way colder where I live in Northern Virginia, so I’m not tripping,’’ he said.

-- Josh Peter, USA TODAY

Why isn't Georgia's mascot Uga at the national championship game?

College football's most well-known live mascot will watch the national championship on television this year. A trip to Los Angeles was too far for Uga X, Georgia football's beloved bulldog mascot. At 9½ years old, Uga, known as Que by his Seiler family owners, is too old to make an extended journey like he did for the 2017 Rose Bowl. — Ryne Dennis, Athens Banner-Herald

Which teams fell short of repeating as national champions?

By beating TCU, Georgia would become the third program since 1957 to claim back-to-back unshared national championships, joining Nebraska (1994-95) and Alabama (2011-12). Dozens more have tried and failed to capture a second consensus title. If the Frogs are able to pull off the upset, Georgia would be added to the list of teams since 1950 that made a strong run at back-to-back crowns but came up just short. The list includes:

  • 2019 Clemson (14-1)

  • 2016 Alabama (14-1)

  • 2009 Florida (13-1)

  • 2005 Southern California (12-1; wins later vacated by NCAA sanctions)

  • 2002 Miami (Fla.) (12-1)

  • 2000 Florida State (11-2)

  • 1986 Oklahoma (11-1)

  • 1964 Texas (10-1)

  • 1957 Oklahoma (10-1)

  • 1953 Michigan State (9-1)

— Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY

Which college football teams have won back-to-back national championships?

Just how hard is it to do what Georgia will attempt to accomplish on Monday night, namely repeat as national champion at college football’s highest level? The short answer is that it would be quite significant. The longer answer is a bit more complicated, as is everything in this sport which struggled for over a century just to get a framework in place for crowning an undisputed national champ. Here are the schools claiming back-to-back No. 1 finishes in what is now known as the Football Bowl Subdivision.

  • Alabama: 2011 and 2012; 1964 and 1965; 1978 and 1979

  • Oklahoma: 1974 and 1975; 1955 and 1956

  • Nebraska: 1994 and 1995; 1970 and 1971

  • Southern California: 2003 and 2004

  • Texas: 1969 and 1970

  • Notre Dame: 1946 and 1947

  • Army: 1944 and 1945

  • Minnesota: 1940 and 1941

Read more on the back-to-back champions here.

— Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY

Can TCU make Georgia look like Michigan?

Winning the physical battle against the Wolverines suggests TCU will be able to achieve a degree of success on the ground against Georgia.

The Horned Frogs have averaged 213.8 rushing yards in four games against ranked opponents and have topped the 200-yard mark in six games against Power Five competition. This is also one of the nation's most explosive ground games: TCU ranks second in the Bowl Subdivision in gains of 30 or more yards (18), tied for fourth in gains of 40 or more yards (11) and tied for second in gains of 50 or more yards (seven).

There is no doubt TCU will approach Georgia with a similar offensive blueprint. But the Bulldogs' run defense will be up to the challenge.

Read Paul Myerberg's keys to the game here.

The Max Duggan-Stetson Bennett quarterback battle

Again and again, Stetson Bennett has defied expectations to earn a place in Georgia's pantheon of great quarterbacks. He'll be tested by the TCU pass defense, however, which has stood up to a heavy volume of attempts by creating tight windows and with an opportunistic mindset. With underappreciated team speed and unique blitz packages, the 3-3-5 scheme used by defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie could catch Bennett and Georgia off guard and set an early tone.

Meanwhile, Duggan and the TCU passing game could find creases against a secondary that has struggled in recent games against LSU and the Buckeyes. But that's only if the Frogs can stamp out the Bulldogs' pass rush.

Read Paul Myerberg's keys to the game here.

How can TCU stop the Georgia pass rush?

The Bulldogs stepped things up since the end of November after a largely sluggish regular season. Before facing Georgia Tech on Nov. 26, the Bulldogs had notched multiple sacks in a game just four times, with a season-high of six sacks in the convincing win against Tennessee.

But they had four sacks against the Yellow Jackets, another four sacks against LSU in the SEC championship game and four more against Ohio State. The defensive front has also been more aggressive in making plays behind the line of scrimmage, with a combined 25 tackles for loss during this three-game span — accounting for over 30% of the Bulldogs' 82 tackles for loss on the season.

The speed and athleticism was always there for the pass rush to return to this level of effectiveness. While TCU held Michigan to just one sack and three tackles for loss, the offensive line will be put to the test against Georgia.

Read Paul Myerberg's keys to the game here.

How TCU can scheme to get WR Quentin Johnston involved

But if able to protect Duggan, the Horned Frogs could dig up explosive plays against a pass defense that stands as Georgia's biggest on-paper weakness. The last two games haven't been pretty: LSU threw for 502 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions on 9.7 yards per attempt, while the Buckeyes finished with 348 yards, four touchdowns and no turnovers on 10.1 yards per throw.

In doing so, Ohio State became the first Georgia opponent to eclipse 300 yards on more than 10 yards per pass with multiple scores and no interceptions since LSU in 2013.

TCU will look to spread the ball across multiple receivers. Five players have accounted for at least 22 receptions; these same five players account for 24 of the team's 33 receiving scores. But no target is more vital to the Frogs' offensive success than Quentin Johnston, one of the top receivers in the country.

He had the big play against Michigan, a 76-yard catch and run two minutes into the fourth quarter that pushed the Frogs' lead to 48-38 and erased the Wolverines' momentum. Overall, Johnston has made 59 catches for 1,066 and a team-best six touchdowns. Even facing off against Georgia, he may be the most talented player on the field Monday night.

Read Paul Myerberg's keys to the game here.

How the transfer portal helped TCU's massive turnaround

Never in the modern history of college football has a team as unlikely as TCU played for a national championship. In a sport where elite results typically track with elite recruiting, there is no template for a team without single recruiting class ranked in the top 20 over the last five years getting this close to a title.

But it also doesn’t seem like a coincidence.

When the NCAA lifted pretty much all restrictions on transfers two years ago, there was a not insignificant amount of panic that free movement of players would only help the rich get richer. But with the Horned Frogs set to play Georgia in Monday night’s College Football Playoff title game, the evidence would suggest that it has in fact does more to level the playing field than anything the NCAA has tried to legislate since scholarship limitations began in 1973.

“We wouldn’t be where we are had we not added (transfers),” TCU coach Sonny Dykes told the Houston Chronicle last month. “It’s a way to fix your program quickly.”

Continue reading Dan Wolken's column here.

How Sonny Dykes' fearless approach has TCU on cusp of college football national title

As TCU coach Sonny Dykes prepared his team to play heavily favored Georgia, his two siblings recounted another time when he looked to be overmatched. Dykes, 5, was riding his Big Wheel down a steep hill in the family’s backyard and getting airborne on the low-riding tricycle before landing in a creek.

“We dressed him up with a football helmet and shoulder pads, and Sonny just jumped on (the Big Wheel) and he took off,’’ his brother Rick Dykes told USA TODAY Sports. “First time we did it, we didn’t know how it was going to work, and hit that last hill, he was in the air and he probably covered 10 yards.

“We were like, ‘Oh my god.’ And when we got down there to him, I thought he was going to be crying and upset, and he was laughing.’’

“Sonny was kind of the cocky one,’’ his sister, Bebe Petree said, “and the great thing for me is to see that cockiness, that little edge that he always had. He was that way when he was a kid playing baseball. He would just rush home plate and knock the catcher off the plate and score the run.

“He always had confidence and swagger.’’

Now 53, Sonny Dykes is leading with that same fearlessness. It's emanating from his team, too.

Continue reading this USA TODAY Sports feature on Dykes here.

Kirby Smart's embrace of offense, and why Georgia is better off because of it

When Georgia plays for its second consecutive national title Monday night against TCU, head coach Kirby Smart doesn’t just accept that the game might be a shootout — he practically expects it. And over his seven years as a head coach, the Bulldogs have evolved to the point where they’re built for it.

"It’s important to me that we’re good on defense and we’re explosive on offense,” Smart said. “Do those things lend themselves to each other? They can. They do for us.”

As college football winds down another season, it’s difficult to find a matchup that would better represent the current state of the sport. — Dan Wolken, USA TODAY

What time do Georgia and TCU kick off?

The College Football Playoff national championship game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET with kickoff scheduled for 7:45 p.m. ET.

What TV channel is the College Football Playoff national championship on?

ESPN is televising the game between Georgia and TCU with Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (color commentator), Holly Rowe (sideline) and Molly McGrath (sideline) on the call. ESPN Deportes will also have a Spanish-language broadcast.

Latest odds on CFP championship?

Georgia is a 13.5-point favorite, according to Tipico Sportsbook, which has the over/under for total points scored at 62.5.

Georgia vs. TCU expert picks and predictions

Scooby Axson: Georgia

Jace Evans: Georgia

Dan Wolken: Georgia

Erick Smith: Georgia

Paul Myerberg: Georgia

Eddie Timanus: Georgia

Check out USA TODAY's full game predictions here.

A look at Georgia, TCU's uniforms for national championship game

Scenes around LA in the lead-up to kickoff

Trae Young rooting hard for Georgia

The Atlanta Hawks superstar shouted out the Bulldogs after his game Sunday night.

Listen: College Football Fix previews championship game

Dan Wolken and Paul Myerberg recap the fantastic semifinal matchups and look ahead to the championship game in this week's version of the College Football Fix.

Catch up on our coverage of Georgia-TCU

Watch Georgia's gameday hype video

Watch TCU's gameday hype video

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: TCU vs. Georgia updates: Stetson Bennett powers Bulldogs to repeat